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“Parliament Is Dead”, Murkomen Says After Criticism Over MPs Laxity Amid COVID-19 Economic Crisis

Kipchumba Murkomen
Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen is now of the opinion that Parliament has failed Kenyans in the wake of unprecedented negative effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economy.

In a tweet on Monday, the firebrand Elgeyo Marakwet Senator stated that the House charged with the role of representing Kenyans’ interests is now being used to protect interests of the Executive arm of government.

Government measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 including social distancing rendered many Kenyans jobless after businesses were shut down with others scaling down operations.

Murkomen was reacting to a story published on the Standard newspaper on Monday that called out the Executive for doing little to cushion Kenyans from the effects of COVID-19.

The lawmaker further argued that the opposition had failed terribly after going into bed with the government leaving Kenyans at the mercies of the Executive.

Normally, the opposition is charged with the role of questioning the government of the day and holding it accountable while upholding the best interests of the general public. Since President Uhuru Kenyatta struck a political truce with ODM leader Raila Odinga in March 2018, the country lacks a vibrant opposition to keep it in check.

Read: Only 53 MPs Will Be Allowed Into Parliament Chambers In New COVID-19 Guidelines

“For the 1st time Standard has boldly called out my colleague Sen. Moi&his bro.I hope they were quoted in the story. I can, however, confirm that Parliament is DEAD. It’s an extension of Executive&the opposition is causing stampede trying to be more government than government itself, ” said Murkomen.

“Every time I raised issues of public interest like Money to counties,Take over of NBI County,Laws being passed&signed against the Constitution,formation of Senate COVID19 Committee etc the media have always reduced my efforts 2 TangaTanga/Rutoman/anti-Uhuru bul***. BE OBJECTIVE.”

Over the recent past, both the National Assembly and the Senate have been on the receiving end of a section of Kenyan’s wrath for suspending sittings amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Read Also: Parliament Suspends Scheduled Special Sittings Following Ban Of Movement In 4 Counties

The individuals argued that the lawmakers could have enacted laws to protect Kenyans from the tough economic times before suspending the sittings last month.

The two houses were expected to reconvene last week to debate on ways to cushion Kenyans from effects of COVID-19 but suspended the sittings last minute after President Uhuru Kenyatta banned movement in and out of Nairobi.

Speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly) and Keneth Lusaka (Senate) indicated that they would debate remotely in order to observe the social distancing directive by government.

It later emerged that the Speakers suspended the sittings after reports that 17 MPs had tested positive for COVID-19. The reports were confirmed to be fake.

Read Also: “History Will Judge Us Harshly”, MP Mohammed Ali Wants Parliament To Convene Special Sitting Over COVID-19 Health Crisis

Nyali MP Mohamed Ali said the fake reports were meant to raise false alarm and stop members from discussing President Kenyatta’s proposed measures to help Kenyans pull through the crisis.

The National Assembly is expected to hold a special sitting tomorrow. Tougher guidelines including limiting the number of lawmakers in the chambers to 53 have been introduced to safeguard the MPs as the pandemic continues to spread.

The lawmakers are expected to consider the stages of the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020, containing part of the measures to address the taxation regime due to COVID-19 pandemic.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege

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